79% of children feel remote learning has disrupted their education

Research from GoStudent has highlighted the learning gaps and lack of educational confidence in children as a result of remote learning throughout the pandemic, with low-income British households the most affected group

Nearly four in five children in UK (79%) feel that remote learning has significantly disrupted their education and development, according to a new report spanning across 12,000 children and parents.

Produced by online tutoring provider GoStudent in collaboration with data research company Kantar, the report provides an extensive analysis of how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the education sector.

In collaboration with data research company Kantar, the report provides an extensive analysis of how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the education sector. 

  • The majority of parents (77%) and children (79%) in Britain believe the pandemic has posed significant educational and developmental challenges. 
  • Children in the UK cited ‘maintaining a social connection’ (52%), ‘understanding subject material online’ (45%), and ‘concentrating in an online classroom environment’ (44%) as the three key challenges to their learning during the last academic year. 
  • 46% of children from higher-income households (£4,000+ PCM) expect they will catch up on pandemic-related learning gaps, which is more than double the number (21%) from lower-income households (£1,999- PCM) who expect to catch up. 


In Britain especially, learning gaps and a lack of educational confidence were more prevalent amongst children from lower-income households. This disparity is only exacerbated by the cost of private tutoring, with a tutoring session costing more in the UK (£28) than in any of the seven countries analysed (the average cost being £21, with the Netherlands cheapest at £13 per session). 

After over a year of mandatory periods of home schooling, the education system has been put under enormous strain… Our goal is to innovate education, making it as accessible and as useful as possible – Felix Ohswald, co-founder and CEO of GoStudent 

Maths hit hardest 

Participants across the UK, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy felt maths had been hit the hardest, with 27% of 12-18 year-olds citing learning gaps in the subject. 

Sixty-five percent of tutoring received within the UK over the past year has been focused on maths. 

Maths was followed by English (20%), while history (11%) was the least disrupted subject. 

Technology findings 

The report found that only 63% of students preferred to in-person, compared to online or a hybrid approach. 

Thirteen percent said they favoured online-only education. 

In terms of artificial intelligence (AI), British parents were the least in favour of using this sort of learning in the classroom out of every country questioned (33%). 

The European average was 40%, with Spanish parents reporting the highest levels of AI support at 55%. 

Demographic findings 

Learning gaps were found to increase based on income. 18% of children from low-income households experienced a learning gap in general science, compared to just 7% of those from high-income households. 

In English, these figures were 25% and 12% respectively. 

Catching up appeared less of a worry to boys, with 33% agreeing that the learning gap won’t continue into next year compared to just 29% of girls. 

Girls also reported a greater lack of social connection due to the pandemic than boys (56%). 

Tutoring findings 

Remote learning was shown to have influenced parents’ decisions for seeking out private tutoring for their children, with 27% citing the impact of lockdown as a main motivating factor. 

Those who received private tutoring during the last academic year were two times more optimistic on catching up compared to those who weren’t tutored. 

British children were also found to feel the benefit of private tutoring more when compared to other areas. 96% reported finding value in tutoring outside of school, compared to only 85% of European children.

You might also like: Rise in remote learning prompts launch of Digital Wellbeing Award

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